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Mixtape Kingpin: Gucci Mane, the trap god

By Hardcore Critic
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Following yesterday’s release of Trap God, Gucci Mane officially cemented his legacy in the rap game. Detractors will bring up Gucci Mane’s low record sales and the ice cream facial tattoo, among other things, but the fact remains, Gucci is a force. Over the past seven years, few rappers have consistently released as much music and produced as many stars.

It was not until recently when the term “mixtape rapper” began to hold much clout in the hip hop world. If the phrase was in the dictionary, Gucci Mane’s face should appear to the side of it. Had it not been for the efforts of Gucci Mane, it would not be as common for artists to both release mixtapes and push them as hard as they do.

For Gucci Mane, it all started with the Trap House album, which featured the “Icy” single, which featured Young Jeezy. While the relationship soon soured, Gucci Mane’s profile would suddenly raise when he began feuding with Young Jeezy. The duo would also be brought into the Ludacris/T.I. feud, with Gucci Mane siding with Luda and Jeezy with Tip.

In the city of Atlanta, Gucci Mane has become the primary artist who gets play in the streets. Proudly representing the “trap,” Gucci Mane is viewed as a hero to many. His style is unorthodox, but it works for him, as Gucci Mane has made millions of dollars for simply telling his story as plain as possible. Starting with Trap House, released through Big Cat Records, Gucci Mane would released several street albums, typically delivering one a year.

With his street albums, Gucci Mane did phenomenal numbers. Despite not even going gold, maintaining most of the profits made Gucci Mane much wealthier than most of his rivals. When he was not releasing these street albums, Gucci Mane was releasing mixtapes. Gucci Mane has consistently kept music out, releases coming on the heels of each other. Eventually, Gucci Mane caught the attention of the mainstream, as his underground success could no longer be overlooked.

In addition to himself, Gucci Mane would begin focusing on the artists which were under him. The two most-notable names were OJ Da Juiceman and Waka Flocka Flame. Early in 2008, OJ’s “Make Tha Trap Say Aye” was another radio hit for Gucci Mane and the single carried over well into 2009. OJ Da Juiceman would be one of 2009’s surprise artists, even working with Jadakiss. One star was not enough for Gucci Mane, as he used his flame to light Waka Flocka Flame and the game has not been the same since.

His high profit margin, paired with the success of such songs as “Icy” and “Freaky Gurl,” both of which made national radio, led to Gucci Mane signing with Warner Bros. Records. The fact that Gucci Mane had done everything on his own, however, led to him agreeing to a partnership, as opposed to the typical artist deal. With a deal for 1017 Brick Squad, Gucci Mane began working on the biggest album of his career, The State vs. Radric Davis, this came after he collaborated with the likes of Jagged Edge, Trey Songz, Wale, Mario, and Mariah Carey.

Suddenly, Gucci Mane was at a commercial peak in his career, standing on a stack of mixtapes. Gucci Mane would release eight mixtapes in 2009, among them The Burrprint: 3D, an obviously play on Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3. In 2010, Gucci Mane kept his movement going strong, releasing his next album, The Appeal, along with six mixtapes, including Mr. Zone 6, hailed as a street classic. Ironically, this peak in Gucci Mane’s career came when he was in prison, alongside T.I., Lil Wayne, and others.

Upon getting out of prison, Gucci Mane released his latest street album, 2011’s The Return of Mr. Zone 6, the sequel to his 2010 mixtape. Music strictly for the trap music fans, the album featured “Mouth Full of Golds,” which featured Birdman. By 2011, however, Gucci Mane found himself the second biggest star on his label, as Waka Flocka Flame dominated with his Flockaveli album. During the summer of 2011, the duo united and released their Ferrari Boyz collaborative effort, another release for the trap and party music fans.

In 2012, Gucci Mane has gotten back on his grind, as he only released two mixtapes and two albums in 2011. Gucci Mane released four mixtapes this year and announced thirteen albums coming next year. With these bold plans, Gucci Mane decided to name his latest effort, Trap God. Not everyone is going to be a Gucci Mane fan, as he appeals to a certain type of rap fan. But, looking at his consistency and his list of collaborators, which include Lil’ Kim, Rick Ross, Ludacris, Trina, Birdman, Trey Songz, Soulja Boy, Yo Gotti, Yelawolf, Bun B, Nicki Minaj, Shawty Lo, and many others, his work ethic, alone, makes him a legend.

If Gucci Mane is not a legend, he should at least be respected as the Trap God he is. Over the course of seven years, few rappers have put out as many mixtapes as Gucci Mane, or have appeared on as many DJ compilations. Regardless of what is said about Gucci Mane, when it comes to the mixtape game and trap music, he is a legend.

Watch a few of Gucci Mane’s music videos and collaborations below:

Gucci Mane ft. Young Jeezy – “Icy”

Gucci Mane – “Freaky Gurl”

OJ Da Juiceman ft. Gucci Mane – “Make Tha Trap Say Aye”

Gucci Mane ft. Plies – “Wasted”

Mariah Carey ft. Gucci Mane – “Obsessed”

Mario ft. Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett – “Break Up”

Wale ft. Gucci Mane – “Pretty Ladies”

Gucci Mane ft. Usher – “Spotlight”

Trey Songz ft. Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane – “LOL :)”

Jagged Edge ft. Trina and Gucci Mane – “Tip of My Tongue”

Gucci Mane ft. Waka Flocka Flame and Soulja Boy – “Bingo”

Teairra Mari ft. Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane – “Sponsor”

Gucci Mane ft. Swizz Beatz – “Gucci Time”

Rick Ross ft. Gucci Mane – “MC Hammer”

Gucci Mane ft. Ray J – “Remember When”

Gucci Mane ft. Birdman – “Mouth Full of Golds”

Gucci Mane ft. Jim Jones – “Kansas”

Gucci Mane – “Bussin Juugs”

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